Monday, July 12, 2010

Reality sets in

Kelley says................(longest post known to man!)

Well, I think my last several posts have been encouraging and inspiring. Today, maybe not so much. At first, I was reluctant to even want to blog about this because there are so many people who read my blog that I know from church. But, I really felt God tugging at my heart asking me "Why do I have my blog?" Well, one reason is to keep everyone informed about what is going on with our situation. But the biggest reason of all has always been to promote the importance of self-breast exams and to help save someone or many people's lives and to encourage them in their own journey.

With that being said, I realized that in order to really encourage someone who is going through this, they have to not only know all the positive sides to cancer but they need me to be real and totally straight up as well. They need to know the truth about the hard days so they don't feel alone or like what they are feeling isn't normal. 

SO, first let me say that if you watched my video, you know that Thursday I had one of my biggest breakdowns since being diagnosed. I don't think I have cried that long or that hard since my hotel retreat in the beginning of this whole fiasco. But it was just what I needed. 

Friday I went for my first blood draw to get my counts checked. White blood cells are the ones that fight off infections. The day I had chemo, mine were at 11.7 and the lowest in the range is 1.8. The doctor had already told me that I might have to get shots to bring them back up if they ended up in the low range. Well, mine were down to 0.08! So it barely registered that I even have white blood cells. I'm thinking this isn't really THAT big of a deal. Until they tell me to not eat any salad, no raw veggies, don't touch plants or flowers, don't do dishes or clean, call immediately if my fever gets over 100.5, use my hand sanitizer constantly, and go home and stay inside my own home all weekend. Then she said, when you leave and you touch that elevator button, you need to clean your hands. 

OMG! WHAT!? You know, I told Deryl that it has seemed most of this time like I have been watching someone else go through this. But the closer it got to Friday when I shaved my head, it was like I was totally backed in a corner with my own self. Suddenly I had to come to grips with the fact that this was indeed happening to ME. I didn't cry but was really bummed. But I just started thinking about what a fun night I was going to have with all my haircuts and how awesome it was that I got to try on some haircuts that I wouldn't have otherwise ever done. I thought of it as a once in a lifetime "opportunity".

So, I had a great weekend. Friday and Saturday I scrapbooked and made cards and listened to worship music all by myself. It was so much fun and I just loved it. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law brought Heather home and Rachel came home from camp. It was so good to see them. I had such a good visit with Mary & Monica. They hung out with me for a while and we got to talk with just us. We haven't done that in a very long time and I REALLY enjoyed it. Monica is a nurse and of course she asked me if I had been taking my temperature like they told me to. I said yes but I hadn't taken it that day. Right when they were getting up to leave I wasn't feeling great and it was weird because it was so sudden. I checked my temp as soon as they left even though I didn't feel hot to myself and it was 99.5! I had been so happy and in such a good mood then I immediately started to cry.

I don't want to be sick anymore. I don't want to have to go to the hospital. I don't, I don't, I don't. I popped some Tylenol and started praying right away. A couple of hours later it had gone down to 98.9 and by the evening was completely gone. I don't know if I have mentioned this on my blog or not but the type of chemo I am getting, I'm not sure if it is with every chemo or not, causes women to go into instant menopause. Well, after the fever event I was just so sad. The girls were here and I haven't seen them all week yet I felt myself getting frustrated with them and I knew it was totally me and not really them. 

Yesterday, I had on a pretty dress and one of my favorite scarves that a very dear friend gave me. But yet every time I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, I just didn't feel pretty. Everyone knows that I loved my hair. It was something I felt so very confident about. I love that I don't have to wash my hair and style it right now because I had so much hair that it took forever to style it. But, this is just hard. I told a friend that having cancer, battling cancer is so, so, so much more than physical. It is a daily mental battle. It is just way too much sometimes. I mean when most people have a zit, they can cover it up with make-up. Or if you got a tattoo on your arm you regret you can wear long sleeves. But I just can't hide anymore that I am battling cancer. Like I said, sometimes it is just too much for a person. 

I am NOT a person who cries a lot. I am always very in control of my emotions and I am a very steady person. But that is seeming to not be the case anymore and I absolutely hate that. I also am experiencing "Chemo Brain" you can google it to find out more if you want. Anyway, I forgot how to get to the doctor's office Friday, I opened the freezer to put away the salt, I can't think of certain words, I was talking to the girls about a show being a rerun and I called it a re-do. UGH. This is really, really hard for an organized, extremely detailed, Type A personality like mine!!

So yeah, there it is. I hope more and more people are drawn to my blog who are newly diagnosed or are currently battling this. Although I am a very positive person and love to encourage and inspire others, I also want to be as authentic as I can so people can see ALL the sides of cancer and not just one side. I hope if you ever meet or know anyone in my shoes that you will be sure to tell them about my blog. 

I know this is the longest post I have ever written. Thank you for reading all the way to the end and thank you for being a listening ear during my time of struggle. 

Love you all,



  1. Kelley-I love how transparent you are and how vulnerable you are about your feelings. I know how hard that must be for you, but I know that some woman is reading this post and it will help her know she is not alone, that she can find comfort in knowing all the things you shared, that she is not going crazy, that there is another human being that feels some of what she feels. Your posts no matter how long or how short inspire people Kelley!

    I was able to tell so many people this last weekend about you and about your blog. Keep posting!! People will read.

    I love you my sweet friend and pray for you all the time. I have a pink button on the dash board of my car so that every time I see it I pray for you. HUGS!!!!

  2. Kelly,
    I am thankful for your honesty. Since my diagnosis on 6/28, I am thankful a mutual friend shared your blog with me. I look forward to reading it and find inspiration/encouragement with every post. Having experienced many of the emotions you have shared has been comforting to know I am not alone when that’s all you feel…alone and scared of the unknown. I was to begin chemo this Thursday, but it has been delayed a few days due to more tests. Waiting is so hard. I am not the type of person to share how I feel, such as with a support group or close friends/family - I’m just not there yet - but I can express some of emotions on your blog. Thank you again for sharing.

  3. Sherrill,

    Did you get the message I sent you? Anyway, thanks for the comment. I am so happy to know you are out there and that my story is helping you. There is just something about talking to someone who you know can "really" relate to your situation.

    I you are interested in doing what I did with my hair, and if you live in Texas, you could have my hairdresser do it and I could come hold your hand!! Just a thought...........

  4. Kelly,

    Unfortunately, I did not get your email. I have never blogged before so I may not have set up my log in account correctly. I will check my profile as well as try to figure out how to email you directly. It really would be nice to ask more questions. I believe I live in the same city as you. Beth C. from PTA Council is our mutual firend.

    As far as my hair, I have a friend who does hair. That was so nice of you to offer. My friend is also trying to talk me into cutting it short first then try different styles just as you did. The problem is my hair is naturally curly with a mind of its own when short. Not sure if seeing a "fro" will be better or worse for me! Therefore, I am leaning to having a wig ready and shaving it all at once. That is the next hurtle - going wig shopping.